Appropriations

Democrats request $15 million for taxpayer aid program

VITA centers provide free tax preparation services in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as financial education to its clients. 

During the 2009 tax season, nearly 48,000 VITA volunteers prepared basic tax returns for low-income taxpayers with a focus on specific underserved groups, including first-time taxpayers, persons with disabilities, rural taxpayers and the elderly, according to the letter. 

VITA centers prepared 1.7 million tax returns across 6,468 sites and brought back approximately $1.6 billion in tax refunds to taxpayers whose adjusted gross income averaged $18,800, the letter said. 

Overall, 379 centers requested more than $33 million in grants in 2010, and provided funding for 147 applications. 

“With continued challenges for state budgets and the number of qualifying taxpayers increasing due to high unemployment, we anticipate that the need for these services and associated funding requests will only increase,” the letter said.

“Accordingly, we request a modest increase in fiscal 2012 funding for the program so that existing and additional VITA centers will be equipped to meet this demand.”

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